Solar Growth Pushes New Limits in Washington

Since 2006, Washington State has offered electric customers an incentive for producing, clean, reliable renewable energy — such as solar. This program has encouraged over 7,000 residents and businesses to invest in and install solar in their communities. Utilities administer and pay this state incentive to customers. In exchange, the utilities receive a tax credit equal to the incentive payments made. This credit is capped at .5% or $100,000 of a utility’s taxable power sales and payments to customers are calculated on an annual basis. For more details on the program, go here.

Update: House Bill 2346

The special session of the Washington State legislature wrapped up with a budget package that did not include the HB 2346 solar bill. Despite hundreds of calls, emails, and contacts with legislators from customers around Washington State, the partisan gridlock of Olympia failed to meet the needs of the thousands of solar customers and employees.

While we at Northwest SEED are disappointed by this outcome, we will continue to seek solutions to grow the market for renewables and support customer choices towards cleaner energy. Thank you for all your time and energy in reaching out to legislators and engaging in the bill process & sign up below to stay engaged on this important issue.

Customers Are Choosing Solar

solarcitizen-button1-nobrandSolar has been very successful in Washington State, and 2015 has been a particularly good year for solar energy generation. As a result of this success, many utilities in our state, including Seattle City Light and Puget Sound Energy, are projected to reach their incentive payment/credit cap soon, impacting payments in 2016. Once the cap is reached utilities may proportionately reduce future annual payments to all solar customers (existing and new) to stay under the cap. Several utilities have published their response to the situation, which can be found here:

Prioritizing a Solar Future

Stakeholders, including Northwest SEED, have worked collaboratively over several years to create a better renewable energy program for our region.

Our efforts seek to protect current customer investments while creating a path for accelerated solar growth. We remain committed to working with legislators, utilities, advocates and industry to develop a solution that encourages customers to invest in solar with market certainty. Please consider speaking to your legislator about why renewable energy is important to you.

  • To find and contact your state legislator, use this handy tool.
  • Please join us and our allies at Solar Installers of Washington in Standing Up for Solar.

There is still far greater potential for solar growth and Washington communities deserve a bright future. If you’re interested in staying current on this topic and learning what you can do to advocate for solar rights, please sign up for our alerts here:

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For media inquiries, contact Northwest SEED’s Policy Manager: Jaimes Valdez | jaimes at

Working With You

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Northwest SEED provides educational events to community members to support renewable energy project development.

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Northwest SEED provides publications, guidebooks and web tools that help communities pursue clean energy projects.